On February 19th, two days after giving birth to their fourth baby, 28-year-old Salome Karwah was rushed to the hospital at the edge of Monrovia with life-threatening symptoms. Her husband, James Harris, expected the woman to receive immediate attention, as she had been actively involved in the community in the last several years, helping to fight off an Ebola outbreak and giving her best to patients in need. However, because she was an Ebola survivor herself, it is possible that doctors refrained from going near her, Harris believes. Unfortunately, Saloma did not get the chance to grow old surrounded by her family, as she died two days later due to unknown health complications.
The Ebola hero returned home after being released from the hospital for only several hours before she started to feel ill. Two days before, she had undergone a Caesarean section to deliver her son, in spite of a dangerously high spike in her blood pressure. James Harris told reporters the woman had been complaining in private about the poor quality of health care services she had been receiving. Soon after her discharge, the woman dropped to the floor wracked by convulsions and foaming at the mouth, her husband said.
Once they arrived at the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) hospital, Harris says the doctor on duty refused to see his wife. Another health experts who specialized in treating Ebola survivors was not present and instructed Harris to transport Saloma to a different health facility. Running out of both options and time, Harris says he started begging the doctor to take a look at his wife, but the physician refused as he was too busy browsing the internet. Furthermore, the man even had to grab a wheelchair for Saloma on his own from the emergency room, he recalls. Saloma’s husband further said that a couple nurses helped him to take his wife out of the car and seat her, but the doctor adamantly refused to get involved saying that if the woman stays at the hospital she will die.
Only after reaching out to a Liberian epidemiologist, Dr. Mosoka Fallah, who traveled three hours to see Saloma the woman was finally admitted to the hospital and examined. Unfortunately, the woman lost her life due to health complications still undisclosed. Now, Harris and Saloma’s family consider taking legal action against ELWA staffers, accusing them of malpractice. To this day, the deceased’s closest friends and family believe she could have been saved if doctors hadn’t stigmatized her because she was an Ebola survivor.
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